Explosion on yacht off Sussex coast sees men airlifted to hospital

Two men had their sailing trip cut short when an explosion on-board their yacht left them stranded seven miles out to sea.

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 6:05 pm
The capsized yacht. Picture and video via the Maritime Coastguard Agency

Selsey RNLI launched at 1.16pm and arrived at the scene by 1.45pm. A spokesman for Selsey RNLI said the pair were partway through their journey from Brighton to Gosport when one of the men went below deck to make a cup of tea.

It is believed that a spark from the stove ignited gas that was leaking in the cabin, he said.

One of the men suffered burns to his arms, face and head and the men jumped overboard to avoid further injury.

The capsized yacht. Picture and video via the Maritime Coastguard Agency

They spent some time in the water before climbing into a lifeboat attached to the yacht. The spokesman said the yacht is now at the bottom of the sea.

They said: “It had burnt to the water line and then when we went back to check if any wreckage was around we couldn’t find anything.

"Whilst at the station the mechanic overheard a radio call from the Yacht Ruby Tuesday reporting an explosion and fire on the 44ft motorboat Honeymoon.

"He and the coxswain could clearly see the smoke after looking out of the crew room window so informed the UK Coastguard while at the same time setting off the crew pagers from the boathouse at 1.06pm on Tuesday 4 June. "

One of the men being winched to safety.

The spokesman also advised sailors to get a gas alarm and to be aware of gas leaks.

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Smoke could be seen billowing from the horizon.